FAQ

Have questions about our Home Energy Reports?

Do you have a question for us? You may find the answer below. If you don't find what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us. We’d like to help.

How will the Home Energy Reports help me? What insights will I receive?

Home Energy Report emails are sent on a regular basis and provide personalized information to help you understand your electricity usage and costs, as well as how you can save.

There are six different Home Energy Report emails:

  1. A Monthly Summary report captures how much electricity you used during your last billing period, provides insight into electricity usage by appliance, and includes tips on how to save;
  2. A monthly Neighbourhood Comparison report shows how your usage compares with similar homes in your area;
  3. A Bill Projection report (sent monthly part way through your current billing period) will show you how much electricity you’ve used;
  4. You will receive an ‘Always On’ report for devices that are consuming electricity, whether you are using them or not, if your annual savings opportunity is greater than $80;
  5. A High Usage Alert that will notify you if your usage is significantly higher than normal. You will only receive this report if your electricity cost for one day is greater than the average of the five previous similar days (weekday/weekend) by at least $3 or 50%; and
  6. A Stay Up to Date report will keep you informed of relevant energy-saving information and events. This report is available at a variety of times throughout the year.

Where can I find details about my yearly consumption?

To find information about your consumption log in to your online account. Once logged in, click on “Usage” and select “kWh” in the top right corner of the page. You are able to view your consumption for the last 24 hours, your most recent billing cycle, or for up to two years.

How can I register or unsubscribe?

To register or opt-out, log into MyAccount and click on “Usage”. Once you are in the “Usage” section, click on the profile icon in the top right corner and select “Email Preferences”. To unsubscribe, you may also select “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of the Home Energy Report email you receive.

Why am I not receiving the Home Energy Reports?

Home Energy Report emails are only available if you're a residential customer and if you have provided Hydro Ottawa with an email address. This service is only available for one account per email address. To begin receiving Home Energy Reports, register for an online account (MyAccount) or login to the Hydro Ottawa app.  

Will I continue to receive my bill through email?

As an online billing customer, you will still receive email notification when your electricity bill is ready for viewing. The Home Energy Reports are managed separately.

How do you estimate my electricity costs? Why are the Home Energy Reports different from what is shown on my bill?

The Home Energy Reports include an estimate of the electricity cost for your current billing cycle based on your historical usage and provincial Time-of-Use rates.

Cost projections displayed in the Home Energy Reports represent only the electricity charge that appears on your bill. It is not reflective of your total bill as it does not include the delivery charge, regulatory charge, taxes, and other fees or credits that may apply to your bill. Information about your total bill is available through your online account under "Usage".

Projected cost is considered high if it exceeds the average of the five previous monthly periods by 5% or more, and by $3 or more.

Can I print a report that shows my electricity costs?

To print information about your electricity costs (Time of Use only) log in to your online account. Once logged in, click on “Billing”. In the top navigation, select “Usage” then “Download My Data”.

Select the level of detail you would like (e.g. hourly, daily, monthly or a billing period), select the date range and click either the PDF or Excel icons to export your data. 

What is Appliance Breakdown and how does it work?

Appliance breakdown takes the electricity data provided by your meter and your appliance profile to categorize the usage of individual appliances. Each appliance uses electricity in a unique pattern - think of it like an appliance fingerprint. We detect and extract these “fingerprints” and use the data to provide useful insights and recommendations.

How much detail does the appliance breakdown provide?

We break down your usage into as many as 12 appliance categories. You can track the usage of each category over the course of the year and see how they change based on season, weather and your behaviour. We identify the categories that consume a large amount of electricity, like ‘Always On’, furnace, cooling and pool pump, based on the usage from your meter. Knowing this usage we then use statistical data to estimate how much your other appliance categories, like laundry, cooking, lighting and entertainment, are consuming. In the end, through a combination of your actual usage and our rule-based model, we can compose a holistic picture of your total electricity consumption.

Why are the Home Energy Reports not showing the electricity usage of my individual appliances?

We take the electricity data from your meter and refer to your appliance profile to pinpoint the usage of most of your individual appliances.

The Home Energy Reports will show the electricity usage of your individual appliances once you update your appliance profile. You can update your appliance profile under the "Usage" section of your online account or under "Appliance Profile" in the main menu of the Hydro Ottawa app.

I don’t have electric heat but there is electricity usage allocated to the ‘Furnace’ category. What is this for?

If you have central non-electric heat such as gas, propane or oil, the appliance breakdown for ‘Furnace’ will include the electric portion (fan) of your space heating system.

The same is true for heating by air source and ground source heat pump systems. If you have a heat pump you can make sure this is handled correctly by adjusting your appliance profile to indicate 'Gas/Heat Pump/Other' and 'Heat Pump'.

How do I update my Appliance Profile?

Within the Hydro Ottawa app for iOS or Android select "Appliance Profile" from the main menu in the upper left corner and then complete the configuration options available.

Using a web browser you can login to MyAccount and select "Usage" then click on the profile menu icon in the upper right corner and select "Appliance Profile".

What is the Neighbourhood Comparison?

The Neighbourhood Comparison is an insight that allows you to benchmark your electricity usage against that of similar homes.

Why are you comparing me to my neighbours?

The homes we pick for comparison depend not only on location, but also on dwelling type and usage level. Thus, you may or may not be compared to your direct neighbours. However, experience shows that this type of similar home comparison can help customers save electricity. It provides you with an idea of what you could potentially save.

Which neighbours are you comparing me to?

Our goal is to provide you with a comparison that is valid and meaningful. We do this by looking at other households in your area – homes that are geographically close to yours, based on postal code, as well as homes that resemble yours by dwelling type and usage level. We can provide better insights and analytics if you update your home profile within your online account.

My Neighbourhood Comparison seems high/low?

Our Neighbourhood Comparison algorithm uses home address and property type to identify other homes that are suitable for comparison to yours. For around 80% of customers, this provides a sufficiently representative comparison with which to benchmark personal electricity usage. As more customers provide detailed information about their homes, appliances, and retrofits, we look forward to fine-tuning our comparisons; until then, we aim to use the most robust, consistent and current sources of data to serve Hydro Ottawa customers.

Do my neighbours see my electricity usage information? Is my personal information being shared with my neighbours? Can I get a list of neighbours that I’m compared to?

No, the Neighbourhood Comparison does not reveal your specific electricity usage to your neighbours, nor is your personal information being shared with your neighbours.

Personal information collected and used for this service was done in accordance with Hydro Ottawa’s Privacy Policy.

Why do I see a neighbourhood comparison for some of the appliances in the breakdown but not others?

We are able to detect the consumption of large appliances including furnace, ‘Always On’, pool pump and cooling directly from usage data provided by the electricity meter. These detected appliances reflect actual usage and can be compared across similar homes. The remaining appliances are not applicable for neighbourhood comparison, as their usage is estimated using rule-based techniques. More information is available to help you better understand the details of each appliance category.

What are High Usage Alerts and how will they help me?

You’ll receive High Usage Alerts to tell you when your electricity usage is significantly higher than normal. A good example of how they are useful is if you leave your air conditioner on longer than normal. Our system will detect that usage and send you a High Usage Alert report.

The High Usage Alert will be triggered if the last complete day’s usage exceeds the average of the five previous similar days by at least 50% or $3. Note that similar days are grouped into weekdays and weekend days.

What is 'Always On'?

‘Always On’ is a term for the devices in your home that are consuming electricity whether you're using them or not. You may have heard of it referred to as ‘vampire loads,’ ‘phantom loads,’ or ‘base loads.’ ‘Always On’ includes devices such as smart home devices, personal computers, monitors, printers, gaming consoles, phone chargers, stereos, televisions and cable boxes.

My 'Always On' usage is really high. Is that normal?

Possibly. Depending on the home, ‘Always On’ usage can represent 10% to 50% of a home’s monthly electricity use.

What is the difference between my electronics usage under the Entertainment category and the ‘Always On’ category?

When electronics are plugged into a wall but turned off, they draw a small amount of electricity and fall under the ‘Always On’ usage category. For example, a television still draws a small amount of power when turned off. But once that television is turned on, the electricity consumption is much higher and then falls under the Entertainment usage category.

Which electronics and appliances should I power off to reduce ‘Always On’ power?

Appliances and electronics left plugged in, even when turned off, still draw power. It’s called ‘Always On’ power. Some major culprits of ‘Always On’ power include: desktop computers, printers, TVs, cable/satellite boxes, game consoles, DVD players and stereos. Even rechargeable devices such as your smart phone or tablet continue to draw power when fully charged but left plugged in. Here are some ways to reduce ‘Always On’ power:

Use a power bar with timer for:

  • Computer equipment, such as your desktop computer, printer, modem and your Wi-Fi router. Set the timer to be “off” while you’re at work and asleep. Typically this equipment may only be required for an hour or two in the evening.
  • A charging station that is connected to devices such as smart phones, tablets, cameras, and power tools. Set the power bar allow charging for only a certain amount of time at night. This will give enough time for devices to reach full power, and be ready to use bright and early the next day.
  • Coffee makers and other small kitchen appliances so they are only on during hours you typically use them.

Use a power bar with auto-shutoff for:

  • Entertainment devices such as your TV, smart home devices, DVD, Blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, game console and stereo. This will allow you to designate one item, such as your TV, as the controlling device that when turned off will automatically shut down power to the other connected devices. When your TV is turned on, power is restored to all. Many also have a separate circuit that allows you to leave certain devices on, such as your PVR or cable/satellite box.

Look for ENERGY STAR® Products:

  • It’s not always possible to unplug every electronic device and appliance in your home. For example, your PVR can use a lot of energy in standby mode, but it’s not always feasible to power it off each night. Fridges and freezers can draw a lot of energy, but need to stay plugged in to cool your food. That’s why it’s important to look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing home appliances and electronics that need to stay plugged in. ENERGY STAR® certified products use less energy and typically have built-in power-saving features.

Why do only some customers receive this email?

The Personalized Insights emails anticipate your electricity usage and need. This email is sent based on the potential savings for your home. For instance, the first email targeted homes that continued using their air conditioning in 2017 after 50% of similar homes stopped using it.

What type of information is included in these emails?

The Personalized Insights emails provide electricity consumption information, savings opportunities and conservation tips. The first emails focus on heating and cooling savings opportunities, but future emails may be expanded to other areas.